Demand for home and building automation is increasing as homeowners and building owners become savvier regarding the benefits of technology. For construction companies, this means there will be greater demand for smart connected systems, such as lighting, appliances, security, and more, in buildings in the future.

In many cases, building owners are looking to install these types of systems from day one. A recent report from IDC Energy Insights,, Framingham, Mass., says 50% of respondents use smart building technologies today, and another 33% said they will use these technologies within the next year.

Smart building technologies can include HVAC systems, lighting controls, and data analysis and management, as well energy management solutions. IDC’s survey asked building owners about their plans for these technologies.

Among the respondents, 57% are trying to meet sustainability goals, and among this group 86% are using efficiency or energy management as a metric for these goals. Smart building solutions can help in these areas by cutting down on energy use and monitoring consumption. Among the top-three categories for smart building solutions, respondents reported an 18% average spending increase since 2011.

Connected solutions are also available for homeowners—which is requiring homebuilders to put smart tech in new builds. In January 2013, AT&T,, Dallas, Texas, announced it would launch the AT&T Digital Life home security and automation service. The system includes wirelessly enabled devices such as cameras, window and door sensors, thermostats, moisture detectors, and appliance and lighting controls. Consumers can customize the system and devices to meet their home control needs.

Recently, AT&T announced additional markets would come online for the service. The company will roll out Digital Life to 15 markets this spring, with plans for up to 50 markets by the end of 2013.

Buildings are becoming smarter, whether it’s a family home or a sprawling office complex. Construction companies will need to build structures with these solutions, resulting in energy savings and peace of mind for building owners and homeowners.